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Professional Ratings: 96 Wine Spectator, 96 The Wine Advocate, 94 International Wine Cellar
Region: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Varietal: Rhone Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Green Wines
Style: Earthy & Spicy
Item no. 117724
#16 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
The secret to the success of Le Vieux Donjon is really no secret at all. They have tremendously old vines (many in excess of 80 years of age) and they are experts at picking only once the grapes have achieved optimum ripeness. Partial de-stemming is practiced, as is a rather lengthy maceration. The juice is then fermented in cement tanks before spending 18-24 months maturing in neutral foudres. As is the case at Clos des Papes, only one cuvée is produced.
This takes a decidedly old-school approach with its very distinctive bay leaf and juniper notes leading the way, along with roasted mesquite and alder wood. The core of steeped black currant, roasted plum and blackberry fruit waits in reserve while the long, ganache- and tar-filled finish has nice rugged grip, with a peppery echo. Should cellar wonderfully. Best from 2015 through 2030. 8,000 cases made.
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is a traditionally made cuvee aged totally in tank and foudre. Its inky/purple color is followed by a sweet bouquet of black olives, incense, blackberries, mulberries, black cherries and lavender. This perfumed, super-concentrated 2010 possesses good acidity, ripe tannin and a full-bodied, expansive mouthfeel. This mouth-coating, saturated, dense Chateauneuf du Pape has plenty of tannin to shed, so give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following two decades.
Deep ruby. Deeply concentrated black and blue fruits on the nose and palate, with cracked pepper and floral pastille nuances adding complexity. Juicy and energetic, with superb finishing focus and floral-driven persistence. Impeccably balanced, with the depth to age effortlessly.